Italy: Venice, Verona, and La Dolce Vita

Trip Overview

Travel with AdventureWomen to Italy in August 2018 for a journey to Venice and Veneto, a multi-faceted region in Northern Italy and the host of three wine regions and so many natural, artistic, and historic treasures.

Begin your Italy adventure vacation in Venice, one of the most enchanting and amazing cities in the world. Venice is elegant, cultural, historic and romantic. This Rennaissance gem is the pearl of the Adriatic Sea, and every single site you visit is rich with art and culture, celebrating the rich history of this city.

Venetian masks are a centuries-old tradition, and are typically worn during the Carnival of Venice, but have been used on many other occasions in the past, usually as a device for hiding the wearer’s identity and social status. Begin your day learning how to make and decorate a Venetian mask. Get creative - your mask is yours to take home!

The city of Venice maintains about 400 gondolas in active service, all of which are made by hand in boatyards, or “squero.” Although the squero isn’t open to the public, you will enjoy a view of the gondola craftsmen at work from the opposite bank of the San Trovaso Canal.

You will also have the chance to visit St. Mark’s Basilica after closing time. You will see it like no one else, as it will be opened for a private AdventureWomen visit. You’ll have the rare opportunity to go where other visitors can’t. Evening is when the mosaics are at their most beautiful, with all 43,000 square feet lit up, glimmering and sparkling in the dark.

Continue your Venice adventure by discovering the Venice the way the locals live it. Taste the delicious specialties of some in the best osterias in Venice (called “bacaro”). Savor the famous venetian “cicchetti” and tapas complemented with a glass of local wine. Visit Perenzin Dairy, an artisanal dairy and shop with a cheese bar and restaurant. The cheese in this dairy is produced by Carlo Piccoli, an Italian cheese specialist, who is very skilled and creative. You'll learn the secrets about how the cheese is manufactured and then have the chance to taste-test it yourself.

Outside the bustle of Venice, the vineyards of the Prosecco Region in Italy surround you as you travel along Italian country roads to the winery where the best Prosecco DOC in Italy is produced. Visit the winery and stroll through the cellars, wine press, and fermentation room and taste a variety of Proseccos.

Now put all your newfound Italian know-how to work! Learn how to cook Italian cuisine using traditional Venetian recipes, which differ according to the seasonal produce available. Visit a local market with the chef to purchase the fresh ingredients for the meal you will make and enjoy a delicious triumphant lunch with our group.

After your exciting time in Venice, head to Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy. This alpine region in Northern Italy was formed by glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age. Here you will spend the next four nights exploring this region and its many unique little towns. The vineyards of the Valpolicella Wine Region in Italy begin just outside the city of Verona and stretch in two directions: to the west, from the romantic home of Romeo and Juliet towards Lake Garda, and to the east, where younger, up-and-coming winemakers are making their mark.

Enjoy a wine tour, in a very special area of Valpolicella: Sant’Ambrogio. The estate is made of fewer than 20 acres of vineyard of typical Valpolicella grape varietals. You will visit the drying center and the barrique cellar.

Verona is the town of Romeo and Juliet. In Verona, there is much more to experience than Shakespeare: history, music, open-air theater, wine, and excellent food. We'll enjoy a private walking tour of Verona with our own art historian. Watch history unfold through Verona's charming streets and alleys, virtually untouched from the days when the Romans designed them here more than two thousand years ago, then visit the house of Romeo and the house of Juliet.

We continue on our way traveling to Franciacorta, a beautiful wine region surrounded by green hills and vineyards, located between Brescia and Lake Iseo. Franciacorta is the most important wine district in Italy for sparkling wine production. We celebrate the conclusion of our Italian adventure here with a private vineyard visit where we taste several, different Franciacorta wines.

This extraordinary Italian adventure vacation to Venice and Veneto in August 2018 gives you a true insiders’ view of this popular European destination and a taste of wine, cuisine, and all things "Italy"!

 

 

 

Main Attractions

  • Learn how traditional Venetian masks are made and decorated by hand – then make one!
  • Enjoy an Italian cooking class in an ancient Venetian palace
  • Enjoy a private after-hours visit to St. Marks Basilica to see the glittering mosaics at night
  • Visit Villa Monteleone in Valpolicella, a small woman-owned winery to learn about local flavors and production
  • Sit down with Giuliana Longo at her cap store and learn how she makes the typical gondolier’s cap

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Italy: Venice, Verona, and La Dolce Vita

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Sunday, August 19 - Arrive in Venice
Venice is one of the most enchanting and amazing cities in the world. It is elegant, cultural, and exciting. It is the pearl of the Adriatic Sea, and every single site is rich with art and culture that celebrates the rich history of this city.

You will be picked up at the Venice Airport by your guide and transferred to your hotel.

Enjoy a welcome dinner and group orientation this evening.
Welcome Dinner

Overnight: Hotel Palazzo Giovanelli
http://www.hotelpalazzogiovanelli.com/

Venice is a dream. Wrap yourself in its enchanting atmosphere while you stay at the four-star Hotel Palazzo Giovanelli, an elegant hotel in the historic center of the city. Overlooking the Grand Canal, next to the Church of San Stae, Hotel Palazzo Giovanelli has silent, relaxing rooms, in the tranquility of romantic Venice, hidden from the bustle of tourists and convenient for getting to the Rialto district and St. Mark's Square.

Day 2

Monday, August 20 - Venice
Venetian masks are a centuries-old tradition, and are typically worn during the Carnival of Venice, but have been used on many other occasions in the past, usually as a device for hiding the wearer’s identity and social status. Venetian masks are ornately designed, featuring bright colors and complex decorations.

Begin your day learning how to make and decorate a Venetian mask. Get creative - the mask is yours to take home!

Venice has about 400 gondolas in active service, all of which are made by hand in boatyards, or “squero.” There are only three or four squeri left. Although the squero isn’t open to the public, you will enjoy a view of the gondola craftsmen at work from the opposite bank of the San Trovaso Canal. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

Visit with an art historian from the Doge’s Palace, a magnificent combination of Byzantine, Gothic, and Renaissance architecture, the center of the Venetian Empire, and the seat of the Venetian Government.

The art historian will tell you about the secrets and tales of the Palace, including the fascinating life of Giacomo Casanova, the famous libertine who escaped from its prisons.

Discover the hidden specialties of some of the best osterias in Venice (called “bacaro”). Taste the famous venetian “cicchetti” and tapas with a glass of local wine in your hand.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Hotel Palazzo Giovanelli

Day 3

Tuesday, August 21 - Venice
With its flowery, fruity bouquet and its fresh, light flavour full of verve, Prosecco DOC is the ultimate simple but sophisticated wine which personifies the unique Italian lifestyle. The Prosecco DOC production area is located in northeast Italy, more precisely in the territories of five Veneto provinces (Treviso, Venice, Vicenza, Padua, Belluno) and four provinces in Friuli Venezia Giulia (Gorizia, Pordenone, Trieste and Udine). This is one of the most stunning areas in the Italian peninsula.

Founded in 1795 by Gaspare Paoletti in Follina, this is one of the biggest centers of the wool industry in the then highly active Republic of Venice. Today,

Lanificio Paoletti is the only manufacturer of carded-wool yarns and textiles in the area which has resisted the passage of time.

Enjoy lunch in a local osteria, where you will experience a real journey through local products and wine.

Perenzin Dairy is an artisanal dairy and shop with a cheese bar and restaurant. The cheese is produced by Carlo Piccoli, a cheese specialist, who is very skilled and creative. You will learn how the cheese is produced and have the chance to taste some of it.

The vineyards of the Prosecco region spread out as you travel along country roads to the first winery where the best Prosecco DOC is produced. Visit a winery and see the cellars, wine press, and fermentation room and taste Prosecco.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Hotel Palazzo Giovanelli

Day 4

Wednesday, August 22 - Venice
Saint Mark’s Basilica is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice, northern Italy. It is the most famous of the city’s churches and one of the best known examples of Italo- Byzantine architecture. Originally it was the chapel of the Doge, and has been the city’s cathedral since 1807. It is sometimes called the Church of Gold because of its opulent design, gold ground mosaics, and its status as a symbol of Venetian wealth and power.

This morning, you will have the opportunity to learn how to cook Italian cuisine using traditional Venetian recipes, which differ according to the seasonal products available. Visit the market with the chef this morning to purchase the fresh products for the meal you will make. Enjoy a delicious lunch as a group.

Visit this unique and amazing cap shop, run by Giuliana Longo. She produces beautiful caps and is incredibly creative. She also makes the authentic gondolier’s cap.

Visit St. Mark’s Basilica after closing time. You will see it like no one else, as it will be opened for a private AdventureWomen visit. You’ll have the rare opportunity to go where other visitors can’t. Evening is when the mosaics are at their most beautiful, with all 43,000 square feet lit up, glimmering and sparkling in the dark.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Hotel Palazzo Giovanelli

Day 5

Thursday, August 23 - Venice to Lake Garda
Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy. This alpine region was formed by glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age. The lake and its shoreline are divided between the provinces of Verona (to the south-east), Brescia (south-west), and Trentino (north). The name Garda comes from the town of the same name. It is the evolution of the Germanic word warda, meaning “place of guard” or “place of observation.”

This morning, visit a prosciutto factory in Montagnana, a medieval village with perfectly- preserved 14th century walls.

Arquà Petrarca is considered to be one of the most beautiful villages of Italy. It is famous as the home to poet Francesco Petrarca. Arquà Petrarca is also famous for producing olive oil, chestnuts, and honey.

Enjoy lunch at a typical trattoria with a beautiful view of the surrounding hills.

Montegalda, a small village between Vicenza and Euganean hills, is home to the unique Bells Museum. It houses historical items dating back to the 11th century.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Byblos Art Hotel Villa Amista
https://www.byblosarthotel.com/en

In the 15th century, architect Michele Sanmicheli started from the ruins of a Roman "casa forte" to design the central part of the villa in Venetian style. The current building, a work of architect Ignazio Pellegrini, dates back to the 18th century. Paintings and original art from both periods are on display. Villa Amistà is a combination of historic and contemporary pieces of furniture, resulting from the inventiveness of the well-know designer Alessandro Mendini, and with several artworks by world-famous artists, that have made the villa a real museum of contemporary art and design.



Day 6

Friday, August 24 - Lake Garda
The vineyards of the Valpolicella region begin just outside the city of Verona and stretch in two directions from the romantic home of Romeo and Juliet: west towards Lake Garda, and the historic heart of this very traditional wine, and to the east, where younger, more modern winemakers are making their mark.

Today’s wine tour will take you to a very specific area of Valpolicella: Sant’Ambrogio, one of the five towns that constitutes Valpolicella Classica, the historical wine producing region of Amarone, Recioto, Ripasso. The estate is made of fewer than 20 acres of vineyard of typical Valpolicella grape varietals. You will visit the drying center and the barrique cellar. The tasting includes Valpolicella classic, Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso, Amarone, and Recioto on the ground floor of the beautiful villa.

Meroni winery is a small company run by its young owner, who is the third generation of wine makers in his family. Meroni’s Amarone is called “Velluto” (velvet), when you’ll taste it you’ll immediately understand why.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Byblos Art Hotel Villa Amista



Day 7

Saturday, August 25 - Lake Garda
Verona is the town of Romeo and Juliet. In Verona, there is much more to experience than Shakespeare: history, music, open-air theater, wine, and excellent food.

Enjoy a walking tour of Verona with an art historian. See history unfold through Verona's streets and alleys, which are still the same as the Romans designed them when they first arrived here more than two thousand years ago. The tour will include the famous house of Romeo and the house of Juliet, the stunning Scala family tombs, masterpiece of Gothic architecture, Signori Square, Erbe Square, Arena, and much more.

Enjoy lunch at one of the best restaurants in town.

Bardolino is a small village on the east coast of Lake Garda. The wine produced on the hills overlooking the lake takes the name from the village. Visit a local winery and to the Oil Museum.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Byblos Art Hotel Villa Amista



Day 8

Sunday, August 26 - Lake Garda
Franciacorta is a beautiful region surrounded by green hills and vineyards, located between Brescia and Lake Iseo. It is the most important wine district in Italy for sparkling wine production.

This morning, visit one of the most beautiful, historic wine estates in the area. Founded in 1836 by the Barboglio Family, Il Mosnel winery is now run by the 5th generation of the family, Lucia and Giulio. You’ll visit the 16th century cellar and the garden vineyard behind the villa, where you will taste Franciacorta Brut, Vintage Franciacorta Saten, and Vintage Franciacorta Extra Brut EBB while enjoying a view of the Pinot Noir walled vineyard.

Enjoy lunch in an ancient farmhouse dating back to the 15th century. Taste some local delicacies.

Enjoy a private visit and tasting of different Franciacorta wines. Featured in the Italian edition of cooking reality show Masterchef, Contadi Castaldi was founded in 1987 by Vittorio Moretti, owner of the iconic Bellavista winery and L’Albereta Relaix & Chateaux, and is now widely recognized as the leader in Franciacorta Saten production.

Have a farewell dinner with your new AdventureWomen friends. Reminisce over all of the memories you have made and celebrate the end of an incredible trip!
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Byblos Art Hotel Villa Amista



Day 9

Monday, August 27 - Lake Garda and Depart
Enjoy one last morning in Italy before departing for the US.

Say goodbye to your new AdventureWomen friends as you transfer to the airport for your flights home.
Breakfast



If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Italy: Venice, Verona, and La Dolce Vita

Traveling to Italy



Traveling to Italy

Arrive: Arrive in Venice, Italy (VCE) on August 19, 2018 in the early afternoon.

Depart: Depart Venice, Italy (VCE) on August 27, 2018 in the morning.

We are happy to help you make your flight and travel arrangements. Please contact us at:

(800) 804-8686 or (617) 544-9393
email: info@adventurewomen.com

If you’d like to do anything prior to or following the AdventureWomen trip, we’d be delighted to help you arrange any trip extensions you’re interested in.

Note: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible booking last-minute registrants, we must release hotel rooms two to three months prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.

Passports and Visas

Citizens of the United States must have a passport valid for six months beyond your travel dates with at least two blank facing pages. If you do not have a passport, please apply now!

Health Considerations

We rate this trip as easy. You should be able to walk comfortably for a few hours at a time.

You should come with a flexible, adventurous, and enthusiastic spirit, and a wonderful sense of humor that adventure travel requires.

Money

The currency of Italy is the Euro.

As of May, 2017, US$1 = €0.89. You will be able to use credit cards during this trip, and ATMs will be accessible.

Suggested Gratuities:

  • Main guide: €2-3 per day
  • Drivers: €2-3 per day

How to Register

Call the AdventureWomen office at (800) 804-8686 to determine space availability and register for this trip. We can complete your registration, including taking your credit card deposit over the phone. As a courtesy, we can hold your space for five days while you are making personal and travel arrangements.

If you prefer, you can register online by clicking "Sign Up for this Trip" on the trip page.

Please be sure to read the AdventureWomen policies before registering!

Forms and Final Payment

Once you book, you will need to fill out and return to AdventureWomen:

  • Information Form
  • Booking Conditions Form
  • Copy of Flight Information
  • Copy of Issuing Page of Passport (photo page)

Final payment is due to AdventureWomen in a cash form (check, money order, or wire transfer) on or before May 20, 2018.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Italy: Venice, Verona, and La Dolce Vita

Included

  • All hotel accommodations throughout the trip
  • All meals as listed in the itinerary
  • All ground transportation
  • Fully-guided sightseeing as indicated in the itinerary
  • English-speaking guides throughout the trip
  • One AdventureWomen Associate

Not Included

  • International airfare to and from Italy
  • Optional activities as listed in the itinerary
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Fees for passports, visas, or immunizations
  • Cost of hospitalization or evacuation
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities

 

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Italy: Venice, Verona, and La Dolce Vita

What to Bring

In August, it is sunny and hot in Italy. The temperatures will range from 70°-86°F during the day. You should plan on bringing cool clothing and dressing in light layers.

Clothing and Gear:

  • Duffel bag or small suitcase
  • Daypack or large purse
  • 1 pair walking shoes (make sure you are comfortable - you will walk everywhere!)
  • 1 pair flats/nicer sandals
  • 1 pair flip flops
  • 3-4 tank tops/tshirts
  • 1-2 nicer blouses
  • 1-2 dresses/skirts (one dress/ top should have sleeves for visiting churches)
  • 1 lightweight jacket
  • 1 pair lightweight pants
  • 1 pair jeans
  • 1 bathing suit
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Hat for sun protection
  • 5-7 pairs underwear
  • 5-7 pairs of socks
  • Sleepwear

AdventureWomen Essentials:

  • Travel documents (passport, airline tickets, money)
  • 2-3 spare passport photos (in case of lost passport)
  • Write down/print out travel insurance number
  • Locks for your suitcase/duffel bag
  • Travel alarm clock with spare batteries
  • Headlamp or small flashlight with spare batteries
  • Binoculars (8x40/42 models are excellent choices; center focus models are easiest)
  • Digital camera, memory cards, battery charger
  • Power adapters
  • Sunglasses, case, and strap
  • Spare glasses, contact lenses, cleaner, saline, etc.
  • Money belt or neck pouch
  • Your AdventureWomen insulated bottle (good for hot or cold drinks!)
  • Sunscreen and lip balm with SPF
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Hand wipes/hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Soap, shampoo, and conditioner
  • Small packet of tissues
  • Tampons and panty liners (avoid plastic applicators)
  • Earplugs: We recommend Mack’s Pillow Soft White Moldable Silicone Snore Proof Earplugs. Available at most drugstores or at www.earplugstore.com
  • Assortment of stuff sacks and Ziploc bags
  • 1-2 bandanas/Buff
  • Reading material/journal and pens

Personal First Aid Kit:

  • Prescription medicine you usually take (in original containers)
  • Personal epi pen (if you need one, don’t forget to pack it!)
  • Bandages, Gauze, Ace bandage, blister prevention
  • Antiseptic wipes/spray
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Cotton-tipped applicators
  • Oral rehydration tablets/packets
  • Antidiarrheal medication
  • Mild laxative
  • Antacid
  • Cold remedies
  • Ibuprofen/acetaminophen
  • Eye drops
  • Tweezers, scissors (travel size), safety pins

If you prefer to buy a complete kit, we recommend the Smart Travel first aid kit.


If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.